UPDATE: Obama Calls Cambridge Cop

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has called the white policeman who arrested black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. The president says he believes the sergeant to be an outstanding police officer.

The president said Friday that he continues to think both the officer, Sgt. James Crowley, and Gates overreacted during the incident - but Obama also faulted his own comments.

Making an impromptu appearance at the daily White House briefing, Obama told reporters: "I could've calibrated those words differently."

The president caused a stir when he said at a prime-time news conference earlier this week that police in Cambridge, Mass., had "acted stupidly" by arresting Gates.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says the media's "obsessions" are keeping alive President Barack Obama's comments about the arrest of a Harvard scholar seen trying to get into his own house.

Asked whether Obama regretted commenting on the matter, spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that the president probably would regret distracting the media with "obsessions."

Gibbs says Obama has "great respect" for police officers and understands what a hard job they have.

He also says Obama has said most of what he's going to say on the matter.

When questioned Wednesday night about the incident, Obama said the Cambridge, Mass., police had "acted stupidly."

In an interview a day later, he said "cooler heads should have prevailed."

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  • by Bob on Jul 31, 2009 at 08:19 AM
    WELL- Please check out this Site-http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=8163051&page=1- Then come back here regarding who suggested the meeting. I really think your interpreting Powell's coments the way you see them. I still have not Read ONE story that says he was "Lured" out of the house as you say. I'm just not seeing I guess, Actually, Seems like your the only one that thinks he was "Lured" out so he could be arrested. I though you said Crowley would apologize at the Meeting. Also, did you even Read Lynn post, she makes a good point. Since you supposedly used to be an officer, did you ever ask someone to step outside so you could finish talking with them? You don't ever want to answer those questions.
  • by Well on Jul 31, 2009 at 06:22 AM
    According to the article this is what Powell said: "Powell said. "Once they felt they had to bring Dr. Gates out of the house and to handcuff him, I would've thought at that point, some adult supervision would have stepped in and said 'OK look, it is his house. Let's not take this any further, take the handcuffs off, good night Dr. Gates.' " My question has always centered on the point that Crowley did not arrest him inside of the house. What are you thoughts on that Bob? Why would he tell Gates that he would speak with him about the matter outside then threaten to arrest him as soon as they get outside? Looks like Powell is asking the same question. Why didn't they arrest him inside? My educated guess is that the elements for the arrest did not exist inside the home. By the way, check the news. Gates said he was still considering a lawsuit. I don't have to be an attorney to know that. As for grounds, guess we'll have to see. By the way Obama called him to meet. He AGREED!
  • by Bob on Jul 31, 2009 at 05:13 AM
    WELL- What happened to that apology that you predicted? Still waiting on your response to my last post and an explanation about the CNN article that you somehow took to mean Powell Agrees with you.
  • by educated Location: nc on Jul 30, 2009 at 01:43 PM
    The Obamas are classy, educated African Americans. Most of the people posting these idiotic comments do not know of any way to demonstrate their frustration at the fact that this beautiful family lives in the white house. Where they choose to vacation is their business just as it was with all previous presidents. Don't hold them to a different standard just because your racist minds can not fathom the thought of black people who don't fit the sterotype.
  • by Robert on Jul 30, 2009 at 01:11 PM
    To GGIRL- Uh, What. What does this have to do with Bush and yes there is still racism in America, Both Black and White Racism. It does go both ways you know. There haven't been a lot of stupid comments about the President in this post, this is about a Bilgerant Racist Professor getting arrested. Like I heard someone say, They all acted stupidly but gates started this whole mess. If only he would have remembered his Keys we wouldn't be talking about this right now. He was the racist one in this case, not the officer. Crowley just happened to be the one that answered the call, What do you think would have happened if a Black officer answered the Call? Gates would have said thank you officer for checking on my house and that would have been the end of it. Why couldn't he have done that with Crowley? Just look at Gates past and you'll have the answer.
  • by ggirl Location: greenville on Jul 30, 2009 at 12:30 PM
    to all yall americans posting these stupid comments about the president i wonder who you are and how much bad mouth you had to say about bush when he plan this bloody war without consent we all need to pray for one another because there still lives the racism in AMERICA
  • by Lynne Location: Ayden on Jul 30, 2009 at 10:42 AM
    Well: I don't know what the CNN article says, but a different one that I read had Powell stating that Gates should not have behaved the way he did. As for the "luring" Gates out of his house, it is standard practice to ask the people involved to "step outside" especially when there is disorderly conduct or domestic problems for the safety of all involved. It is a matter of controlling the enviroment by being as certain as possible that there are no weapons (guns, vases, WALLS, etc.) in reach. One of the most dangerous positions an officer can be in is inside a building with an upset/angry person. Gates should be thanking Crowley and the police force for their prompt response to what could have been thieves taking all of his valuables. Instead we have Gates and Obama wanting to "educate" Crowley because he did his job.
  • by Bob on Jul 30, 2009 at 08:09 AM
    WELL- I see your at it again, I read the article and where does it say that Powell agrees with you? Unless I Missed it, he never says gates was lured outside. Why not just wait until after the Meeting today to see what happens, instead of assuming you already know. As far as Crowley "Agreeing" to the Meeting, you may want to check your facts. Unless I'm mistaken, it was Crowley that suggested they sit down and have a beer and the President agreed. Fact check please. As for a Lawsuit- on what grounds? I didn't know you were a lawyer too. Still haven't heard much from Jessie or Al, wonder why that is?
  • by Well on Jul 30, 2009 at 05:29 AM
    It appears that I'm not the only one that feels that Gates was lured out of the house so that he could be arrested. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/28/powell.palin/index.html?iref=24hours Crowley will apologize today at the beer meeting. By agreeing to the beer meeting, he obviously does not see what's unfolding. They will smile and drink a beer together for the photo op, but behind closed doors, Gates will give him the option to apologize or face a lawsuit. This will not be a public issue; just a personal ultimatum. Crowley will have to live with it; a cancer to his ego. Checkmate!
  • by carl Location: greenville on Jul 30, 2009 at 02:55 AM
    if i was the policeman i would tell him where to stick his beer. again he has to backtrack because he opened his lying mouth too early, before the facts.

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